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Mobile Purchase Path Insights for Successful Mobile Ad Campaigns [Study]

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Local relevance and timing are key in converting mobile browsers to buyers, though specific consumer needs and verticals influence the way mobile devices are used for purchases. A new study from xAd and Telmetrics with data provided by Nielsen investigates not only mobile consumer behavior, but preferences as well.

"Advertisers must understand consumer motivations and intent related to each specific vertical market they are searching within before deciding how and where to best engage them in mobile," said Monica Ho, xAd vice president of marketing.

With that objective in mind, here are four tips from the Mobile Path-to-Purchase study.

1. Understand How Purchase Timing Varies by Vertical

The amount of time that passes before a searcher takes action largely depends on the vertical they are searching. For example:

  • Mobile searchers looking for restaurants showed immediate transaction intent, with 87 percent indicating they were looking to purchase within the day. A substantial 85 percent of these searchers do eventually convert and make a purchase.
  • In the auto category, 49 percent of searchers show immediate purchasing intent and indicated they wished to complete the transaction the same day. Here, however, 51 percent ultimately make a purchase.
  • Thirty-three percent of mobile travel searchers want to complete the transaction within the day, and 46 percent will ultimately buy at some point.

“...successful mobile advertising campaigns can no longer take a 'one size fits all' approach," Ho said.

2. Mobile Searchers Strongly Prefer Local Content

As much as 73 percent of mobile users surveyed for the study report contacting a business after searching for the phone number, though this varies by device and category.

According to the report, searchers show a strong preference for information related to local contact and purchases – such as looking up a business location, accessing map and driving directions and calling the business. Up to 84 percent of respondents reported they also use mobile search to look up business locations and access maps or driving directions.

Mobile devices are becoming the preferred method for finding, contacting, and visiting local businesses.

3. Ads Searchers Actually Want to See: Offers, Promotions, Local Info 

According to the report, 66 percent of mobile searchers noticed mobile ads, while 33 percent actually clicked. Mobile users reported local offers and promotions among the top reasons they would engage with mobile advertising.

Ads also need to have local relevance.

“Calls are a key activity along the mobile path to purchase and the study confirms that mobile marketers should ensure their campaigns include phone numbers as most consumers want to connect with the business before making a final purchase decision,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “If an ad or listing doesn’t have local relevance at the time of action, the consumer will move on to the next business so including local phone numbers rather than toll-free numbers is helpful.”

4. Be Aware (or Beware) When Ad Targeting of How Searchers Use Tablets and Smartphones

Tablet owners tend to use their device more from home (72 percent), while most smartphone users are on the go (68 percent), regardless of the vertical. Understanding this key difference is important in ad targeting.

Forty-five percent of Smartphone users will go directly to an app or website they are familiar with, rather than searching and having the browser direct them. For tablet users, this is slightly different depending on the vertical: 42 percent will go directly to a restaurant site with which they are familiar, 44 percent to auto sites, and 49 percent to travel sites.

See more highlights from the xAd and Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase study in the infographic below:

where do mobile customers search xad telmetrics


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